We left the monkeys in the trees and headed for “culture” and “big” city life; our next stop would be Leon, a two hour drive north of Managua. To get to Leon we had to change minivans in the town of Granada which is considered to be one of the most attractive colonial era Spanish cities in Latin America. However we are going to give this jewel the flick and instead head straight for Leon which is a city of about 200,000 also renowned for its style and with enough churches to put you to sleep if you tried to count them all. Read more
Our next stop was INSIDE a volcano. One that had been extinct for a long time of course… Laguna Apoyo is a large lake which was created when the Apoyo volcano imploded about 20,000 years ago and the crater filled up with water. It’s now protected as a natural reserve and you can swim and kayak in the lake which is 200 metres deep in the middle, making it the lowest point in Central America and thermally heated to 27 degrees. The best news of all – no bull sharks! Read more
The island of Ometepe is comprised of two volcanoes in a fresh water lake and the lake is patrolled by sharks. This description alone would deter even intrepid explorers like Indiana Jones but Malene and I piled onto the ramshackled ferry to make the hour and a half crossing to Ometepe. Safety was high on the crew’s mind after another small ferry had a disaster on the east coast of Nicaragua so the authorities were clamping down. Life-jackets, cashews and pastries were on offer, I settled for the pineapple pasty which I could have used as a raft to sail all the way to India before it would dissolve, so I was ok, Malene went for the weigh-me-down life-jacket. Read more
Nicaragua is called the land of volcanoes and lakes but we decided they could all wait a week or so and after Managua we headed straight for the beach… San Juan del Sur is a popular surf spot on the pacific coast, not far from the border with Costa Rica. It’s a bit of a party town for young surfers from the US / Canada and European backbackers. Throw in a few alternative travellers who perform fire dances at night and sell feather earrings on the beach during the day and there you have it.
We decided against the chicken bus (the local buses where you can bring everything including live chickens going to or from the market). We booked a shuttle instead however we feel a bit guilty for chickening out (sorry for the bad joke!). We should try one of these infamous buses while we are here. Read more
Nicaragua was somewhat a strange/ fantasy destination for us when we were doing our travel plans last year in Perth. it was loosely added to our travel list for no reason other than we found the name fascinating. We had no idea what the country was about but before leaving Woody and Pips gave us a Nicaraguan guide book and that got us thinking, hhmmmm…. Read more